New report reflects on overcoming extremism, Charlottesville Unite the Right rally

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- A new project looks to prevent violent extremism, with lessons learned from the deadly white supremacist rally of Charlottesville two years ago.

Former Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer discusses new report: Communities Overcoming Extremism: The After Charlottesville Project. (Source: GrayDC)

It’s called Communities Overcoming Extremism: The After Charlottesville Project. This study was launched by Councilor Mike Signer – who was Mayor of Charlottesville when the violent demonstrations unfolded.

The report – unveiled in DC Monday - gathered ideas from local, state and federal leaders, along with tech executives, non-profits and the faith community. The 60-page report and podcast series features bipartisan ideas and hopes to serve as a guide book for leaders around the country.

“There was a lot of learning to be done and there was a lot of connection with other actors, leaders dealing with extremism also and that’s why we started this project was to connect people, generate more best practices and share lessons learned from this very difficult but crucial work," said Mike Signer, founder and chair of the report.

The report discusses certain laws and policies that can help prevent violent hate groups from escalating in communities.

Also at Monday’s event, Susan Bro, whose daughter Heather Heyer was murdered while peacefully demonstrating in Charlottesville. She says diverse groups need to come together to listen to one another and continue building alliances to stop hate.

“For me, true change comes from a grassroots heart movement. It’s an individual connecting with an individual. You can legislate change but you can’t make people embrace change," said Bro, co-founder of Heather Heyer foundation.

Signer’s report is backed by the Anti-Defamation Leader, Charles Koch Institute, the Ford foundation, the Soros fund, and various other organizations.

You can review the report here:

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